This month’s featured dreamer is someone who I have recently met via the blogging world – professional dancer, Cecilia Rodriguez Schwartz! After I read more about her faith and journey as a dancer, I knew she would be a perfect person to spotlight on A Dreamer’s Wife. (Plus, she’s a Notre Dame fan and grew up in the mid-west!)
Cecilia Rodriguez Schwartz (Isn’t this photo absolutely beautiful?!)
On her website, Dance Immaculata, Cecilia shares “thoughts and insights of a Catholic Dancer and a Dancing Catholic.” She further elaborates on this in her “About” page.
Not only am I a dancer, I am also Catholic. For years, I had the misconception, as many do, that dance and traditional Catholicism were at odds with each other. The delicate issue of whether or not dance as an expression is acceptable in this hyper-sexualized culture has often nagged my conscience. I kept the two aspects of my life separate until I realized that while dance is a part of my life, Catholicism is my life. My Catholic faith and dance have been co-existing for years; I just didn’t realize it.
Cecilia also has a personal blog, She Laughs at the Days to Come. On this site, as evidenced by the title, she highlights Proverbs 31:25 and writes about having strength, giving up control, and trusting God. Be sure to check out what she has to say! Below is a teaser!
Learning to laugh at the days to come has stretched me beyond what I thought possible. It requires a lot from me. I have to give up control of the future and submit to God’s plan. I have to surrender my dreams and wishes, trusting and hoping that God’s will for my life is more that I could ever imagine. I have to live in the present moment clinging to the promises of God (Psalm 37).
I had the opportunity to ask Cecilia some questions and she was gracious enough to take the time to answer despite having a rather eventful past couple of weeks! One of those significant events included getting engaged! (You can read more about her relationship on her personal blog.) Here is what she had to say about her journey:
So here’s the deal about me and my dream: I’m living it. My dream was (and is) to become the best dancer I can be, to dance professionally, and to share the depth and beauty of Mexico through it’s artistic traditional dances. There isn’t a huge demand for professional Mexican dancers, and I didn’t realize it was even an option for me until three years ago.
I was living in Michigan at the time and was doing research to learn how apply professionalism and structure to the small dance group I was a part of. I found a dance company in New York City and began corresponding with the director. A dear friend of mine invited me to accompany her and her husband on a trip to New York so I could do more research and possibly meet with the director. When there, I was invited to attend a rehearsal. I was incredibly nervous, but I loved every minute! It was intense and challenging beyond anything I had ever done before. On my way home I emailed the director to find out what was required to join the company. He told me that I was welcome to come to rehearsals and train with them. This of course meant I would have to move to New York.
I prayed about the decision for months. Moving meant I would leave everything: my great job, my family, my friends, my home, my nice little life, everything! Granted I had close friends in New York and New Jersey, but it was still a difficult decision. I begged God to tell me what He wanted me to do. Instead He asked me what I wanted to do. “I want to dance” was my obvious answer. “Then dance!” He replied. “Go, pursue your dream! This is what I want for you too.”
I have to admit I was surprised. I had forgotten that sacrifice didn’t necessarily mean I had to deny myself what I loved (dance) to do God’s will. Following my dream has involved a lot of sacrifice, but I know without a doubt that this is God’s will for me. It isn’t easy and it isn’t always glamorous, but it is blessed!
Right now, I am preparing for the dance company’s annual show. I am continuing to pursue my dream by taking other dance classes (ballet, modern) outside of the company rehearsals. I don’t know that I have an “end goal” per say, but every day I get to go to the dance studio is a dream come true.
Thank you, Cecilia, for taking the time to share more about yourself and your passion! I’m sure many readers will be inspired by your trust and willingness to follow God’s will and go after your dreams!